Richie Merino, an organizer with the International Action Center and the United National Antiwar Coalition, gave this talk at the March 18 antiwar demonstration in Washington, D.C. Merino, a writer for Workers World newspaper, is a proud public school teacher in the South Bronx, New York.
Just days after the Biden administration proposed an egregious $900 billion military budget, the Federal Reserve printed $300 billion to bail out two banks that were “too big to fail.” Let me be clear: this is a bailout for the rich, a bailout for Silicon Valley tech companies, venture capital and private equity firms.
At a time when we’re struggling to pay for rent, groceries, gas and energy bills, we need to start asking ourselves, “When will we, the workers, get a bailout?” When will we, the people of the South Bronx; Flint, Michigan; and East Palestine, Ohio, get the funding we deserve for quality education, safe transportation, guaranteed jobs with benefits, housing, and clean air and water?
If the U.S. government can bail out billionaires and spend $150 billion to fuel a proxy war in Ukraine, then they sure as hell can bail out the people! Do you all agree?The U.S. is preparing for and provoking a hot war with China, because China’s peaceful economic rise is regarded as a threat to U.S. global hegemony. Such a war has the potential to destroy humanity. China wants peace, cooperation and win-win development. China is not our enemy. Do you all agree?
Our enemy is imperialism
Our enemy is Western imperialism, with NATO and the U.S. government running the agenda. They use Russia and China as scapegoats to distract from their failures to provide basic needs for the poor and working class. Our enemies are the capitalists and imperialist warmongers in the U.S. government, whose only purpose is to guarantee the profits of Wall Street and the military-industrial complex, through regime change and interventionist wars.
If you all agree, I wanna hear you make some noise: No more endless wars! Feed the people, not the U.S. war machine! End the U.S./NATO proxy war against Russia and the people of Donbass!
End U.S. military provocations against China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea! Lift the sanctions on Cuba, Syria, Iran, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Eritrea, Zimbabwe and all nations and peoples exercising self-determination!
Defund the Pentagon, shut down all U.S. military bases and abolish NATO!